It's been a struggle for me to play Netflix Silverlight-flavored VC1 video streaming without stuttering ever since they switched from WMV. Even though, I've never had issues with VC1 for my bluray movies.
Amazon video playback has consistently worked well for me; but never wanted to pay per-movie/TV show; unless I REALLY wanted it.
It looks like all will be for the better... Since Amazon won the video rights to Epix.
This should hopefully mean Netflix can focus once again on Bluray movie rentals; where the movies will actually be available for frequent customers who want first-run movies; maybe, even making 3D BD's readily available.
and... Amazon Prime members (which Im already a member) will be able to watch streaming movies/TV shows for without a per-show/movie cost.
Win-Win if that happens! If Amazon starts to rent bluray movies and TV shows, then Netflix is in big trouble!
IDK if there is a WMC plugin for amazon video though.
IMO, the only thing that can de-thrown Netflix is Netflix itself by continuing screwing its royal customers. I'm very close to close my account due to their rate hike last year.
Im sure that Amazon VIdeo probably doesn't sound too attractive yet. But, I do see Amazon Streaming taking the place of Netflix Streaming because of content for "unlimited" streaming. This would also shift hardware vendor focus as well. While I doubt there would be significant firmware upgrades in current model STB's, there will probably be a whole new generation of Amazon Video clients right around the corner.
As far HTPC's go; which is what this forum is all about... I have a feeling things are just going to get better especially since Amazon is PC-friendly; unlike services such as Vudu. Plus, Amazon Streaming already works better than Netflix on most PCs. Netflix never quite got it right with Silverlight/VC1.
I still use Netflix for renting BDs/DVDs, but I dropped their streaming service because their streaming quality was junk and the selection isn't near as good as their disc selection.